Football

Haaland’s presence a big boost for Dortmund

Showdown: The Lewandowski-Haaland battle could decide the fate of the big match-up.
AFP BERLIN 04 December 2021 03:34 IST
Updated: 03 December 2021 22:33 IST

Will be keen to make his presence felt in the battle with Bayern, Lewandowski

Bundesliga’s star strikers Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski go head-to-head on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayern Munich in a top-of-the-table clash. League leader Bayern heads to Signal Iduna Park just one point ahead of the second-placed Dortmund.

Haaland, 21, who has scored 19 goals for Dortmund and Norway this season, found the back of the net with a stunning volley in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Wolfsburg.

Lot of energy

“He give us a lot of energy, he’s a player who can decide games,” Dortmund coach Marco Rose said of Haaland, who has overcome a hip injury.

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The same can be said of Bayern’s Lewandowski who, after scoring a record 41 Bundesliga goals in 2020-21, has backed it up this season with 25 goals for the club and five for Poland.

Bayern has won all of its last six games against Dortmund, but the Bavarians could be missing two key midfielders for the game which will be played in front of a reduced crowd of 15,000 due to increasing COVID-19 cases.

Joshua Kimmich is definitely out as he continues to quarantine at home after testing positive for coronavirus. Leon Goretzka is doubtful after leaving training on Thursday with a hip problem.

Germany legend Lothar Matthaeus said this week that Haaland’s return, after missing five weeks of action, could see Dortmund end its poor run of results against Bayern.

“Dortmund has a chance because Haaland is back and Bayern is missing a leader in Kimmich,” Matthaeus told the international media on Thursday.

Bayern is looking to win its 10th straight German league title this season.

Matthaeus is concerned Bayern will want to seize the chance to assert itself over its nearest league rival.

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